Former NFL Head Coach Bum Phillips Dead at 90

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Bum Phillips

during the first quarter of a NFL football game Monday, Nov. 23, 2009 in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

GOLIAD, Texas –

Former longtime NFL head coach Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips Jr. passed away Friday night at his ranch in Goliad, Texas. He was 90 years old.

“Bum is gone to Heaven-lived and will be missed by all-great Dad, Coach, and Christian,” Wade Phillips (whose Twitter handle is @sonofbum), Bum’s son and current defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans, posted on Twitter around 8 p.m.

Bum Phillips, known for his trademark 10-gallon hat, coached high school football for several years before taking assistant coaching positions in college football in 1958, and then 1962-1966. He then moved on to the NFL, where he became defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers from 1967-1970.

After a brief period of not coaching, Bum Phillips took the defensive coordinator spot for the Houston Oilers (now Tennessee Titans) in 1974. He was promoted to head coach and general manager the following season.

In his tenure from 1975-1980 he amassed a 59-38 record, good enough to be the winningest coach in franchise history. Bum Phillips led the Oilers to two straight AFC Championship Games in 1978-79, losing to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Steelers both seasons.

Bum Phillips would become the head coach of the New Orleans Saints from 1981-85, resigning his position one day after a 30-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Wade Phillips was also an NFL head coach, manning the sidelines for the Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Buffalo Bills.

After retirement, Bum Phillips worked for a short time as a color analyst for television and radio.

Before his death, Bum Phillips began a project to build a home for deaf children on his ranch. Donations can be made at

Ruben Dominguez filed this report.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.